Speaking before the parliamentary committee on financial affairs, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos labeled December as the most critical period on whether the Greek economy would exit the crisis or be led “off the cliff”. “December is the most crucial month since the summer of 2015. It will determine a lot and significant things concerning the progress of the economy and our ability to successfully follow the road map”, he said.
He admitted that the path towards completing the second review faced the two major obstacles of labour reforms and fiscal targets, while adding that the volatile environment would most likely settle in January. “December 5 is a landmark for the Greek economy, as the three separate parts of talks will converge”, Tsakalotos underlined, referring to economic reforms, fiscal targets and the debt relief. Commenting on the government’s budget, the Finance Minister acknowledged that some sections of society had unfairly taken on a larger burden of the measures than the rest. “There are people we are trying to favour and people who we are treating unjustly”, he underlined. He went on by pointing out that the middle class and freelance professionals had shouldered a disproportionate share of the burden. He estimated, however, that the state would boost its revenues by cracking down on tax evasion.
Tsakalotos admitted that the government was adopting a tax-heavy policy in its efforts to achieve its fiscal targets, instead of reducing state spending. Tsakalotos expressed the view that the climate for investments in Greece was improving, as major investors had signaled they would be willing to enter the Greek market, provided a long-term solution on the Greek debt was reached.